Friday, February 20, 2009

Hart Amos, The Mystery Artist & Captain Atom's Ring

I doubt I'm stepping on the toes of Spiros Xenos here when I present the first cover here. I'm not going to belabour it with a pile of text, rather I just want to show it off. It's a Hart Amos cover for the comic Super Adventure Comic #61. No real reason to show it off other than to show the world that there were some genuine talents in the Australian comic book scene back in the 1950s.

Now this second comic, Western Roundup #4, has me stumped as to who the cover artist is. I'm assuming that the artist is an Australian, and what's throwing me is that the style looks very much like Maurice Bramley, but I doubt that it is him. Bramley's backgrounds were usually more detailed and not as rough. Indeed, to me anyway, this almost looks like what I expect a Bramley preliminary to look. If anyone has any idea then I'd be very keen to know. Have a peek, the scan is a nice, high resolution scan indeed.

Published by Atlas (Australia) this comic features Gene Autry, Trigger and Johnny Mack reprints. Not as exciting, to me anyway, as the John Wayne reprints I uncovered the other day, but still I can't argue with a free vintage Aussie comic and it all goes into the scan library, which now contains scans of over 1,800 Australian comics, totalling over 2gig of information, dating from the 1940s through to the 1990s. One day I'll have to do something with the scans and get them out there for the world to see. Ahhhh but for another 8 hours in a day and another five days in a week.

And to close it out, here's the rear of an old Katzenjammer Kids comic. Anyone hazard a guess as to what these rings would be worth these days? I expect a bit more than 2'6, even if we do factor in inflation. Anyone still have one? Love that stuff.

2 comments:

Kevin Patrick said...

Hi Danny - I almost didn't recognise the Amos cover as being by him, until I read his signature at the bottom corner. Have to say, it seemed to be a real "rush-job" compared to his other Superman/Batman/Robin efforts for KG Murray. But Amos it is!

The "Western Roundup" cover is a puzzle, isn't it? Are you sure it's an Atlas Publications (Aust) edition? They normally have their name/logo appearing on the front cover (usually with their Clifton Hill, VIC, street address!) - and that ACE 'diamond' logo in the top r/h corner is most certainly not Atlas Publications symbol. I've seen the ACE logo elsewhere, though - might be a NSW company, maybe Jayar Studios/Jubilee Publications?

The Captain Atom ring - one of these sold on eBay Australia back in 2006 for over $100. It was a metal ring, and had two holes in the hero's eyes, where some ruby red stones were meant to be. Will see if I can email you an image.

- Kevin Patrick

Kevin Patrick said...

Danny

Been thinking about that cover to "Western Roundup", and I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest it's the work of Virgil Reilly, a newspaper cartoonist who was a prolific comic book artist during the early-to-mid 1950s, principally on such titles as "Invisible Avenger" and, most notably, "Silver Flash". The scratchy linework and the 'bare bones' background illustration all have Reilly's stamp on them, especially when I compare the face on the cowboy with my copy of Silver Flash #32 - the similarity of style is quite strong.

Happy to be proven wrong here, but I'm going with Virgil Reilly as the likely cover art candidate.

For more info, see:
http://comicsdownunder.blogspot.com/2006/12/virgil-reilly-from-pin-ups-to-punch.html

- Kevin Patrick